Personal Christmas Post

We are having a great Christmas with family here. Abby, Justin, Gabe, and Levi all home.  It was different this year not having the 3 Christmas Eve services in the evening, but we had our 3 weekend gatherings at Compelled, Abby and Justin arrived and we took Christmas Eve dinner over and had dinner with dad, who now lives in Temperance at Moongate apartments.  I sure love him being so close, but we all miss him in Morenci also.  We spent a couple hours with him on Christmas Eve.jim  Wendy made one of our favorites, “Alice Chicken” and we love it with mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, roasted brussels sprouts, rolls and salad. it was a feast.

Christmas morning was our family together. Priceless and special. We then load up and head to Hudson, to Wendy’s folks for another feast with our precious family, presents, and good time.  Lots of Dutch blitz, laughing, and overeating.  We love our time at Randy and Carol’s and enjoyed staying the night, and man did we sleep in.

Christmas this year seem nostalgic, and meaningful.  Every year I am alive, Christ become more alive to me, and His work I see more clearer in others, including my family, which I am fiercely devoted to.  My amazing wife Wendy, makes this time so special for our family.  Here hard work, thought, and detail attention, always stuns me with peace and happiness.  What a gal. We celebrate 31 years together January 3.  What a blessed guy I am!

I pray your Christmas was special and the presence of Jesus was close.

Selah,  Nate

Five Dangers of Resisting Change

Yesterday, we moved most of the last of dad’s furniture from his house. We moved him to Temperance last October.  He lived in that house almost 50 years. Of course, I grew up there.  The old brick house on Gorham in Morenci holds a lot of memories,every room has a story, every part of the yard a chapter in childhood. I looked out the window to the hosue next door, where mom lived the last years of her life (yes you read correctly)  Last Friday, my daughter graduated from college, my oldest son will graduate from high school in a couple weeks, our youngest will be a senior. Lots of change, more on the way. Most I celebrate with joy and parental pride for my kids.

What changes are you experiencing in life? Job? Family? Aging parents? Empty nest? Loved one called home? Health? Registering your baby for pre-school?

Change can be hard, and most people resist it. Here are some reasons why.

  1. We fear the unknown.  We want to have control and we control the present.  We think we have it mastered and we love the predictability. Change moves us into the unknown, which we can interpret unsafe, and our assumptions are usually wrong.
  2. We are comfortable in the present. Change rocks the boat. We want our lives to be consistent, routine, and the same.
  3. Our flesh, resists growing our faith stronger. Change requires more faith because we have topped our faith out in the present.  We, for some dumb reason, mostly resist spiritual growth because it makes us go to uncomfortable places….the unknown future, or a new ministry, or a new season of life.  Each change requires our trust in God to go deeper. Let’s not resist let’s embrace.

The danger of resisting change.

  1. You miss out on a chapter in your life that was meant to be.  Don’t fear, the Lord never leave us!  Don’t miss an opportunity to celebrate change.
  2. It happens anyhow and you live in denial, anger, sadness, or ambivalence. This will affect everyone around you and your most precious relationships.
  3. You hijack your future.  Joy and contentment can be robbed from us as we look back with sadness at the change, and not forward with faith. How many people did not experience their future, as they stubbornly held on to the past.
  4. We can miss something special God has for us.  He moves us forward through life, and He is there will his plan, power, and presence to guide us.
  5. Your faith become stagnate.  Change grows us whether we like it or not.  We learn the Lord is always with us. We sense his strength and courage. We learn to trust him deeper in the unknown. Don’t rob yourself the opportunity of having greater faith in the Lord.

In the changes of life remember Proverbs 3.5,6 and live in this truth.

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Pr 3:5–6). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

My opening remarks from the message this weekend on Philippians 3.1-11

Christ Is2Several have asked for the remarks I made as to what I felt the Lord said to me for the series this month.  Here they are.  Blessings Nate

Why take a month or more on one chapter of the Bible?  On Philippians 

  1. The same energy Christ gave on the cross to redeem us is the same effort the enemy is doing is best effort to destroy us.
  2. Kingdom Impact will be multiplied when we are radical for Christ.
  3. God has a plan for Compelled Church and for your life and a prerequisite for the plan is that we/you will be so committed to Christ that you/we will obey Him, as He is our everything!
  4. We must have an encounter with Christ. We have to deal with our dark side and flush it out by the power of the Spirit and by the Word.
  5. The people of God need spiritual courage. This only comes from a real, true, relationship with Jesus. Believer are walking in too much fear. God has not given us a spirit of fear.
  6. Our vision hinges on the reality that we know Christ, not know about Christ.
  7. The storms of life, the rough spots in our faith are only endured and become platforms to grow, as we grow in Knowing Christ.

Which wave did you enter by?

They all had some great excuses of why they could not attend a great banquets.Really the excuses were pretty lame.   The invitations went out for a great feast.  The servant went to remind them all that the party was soon to begin, but they begin to makes excuses of why they could not attend.  A new set of oxen, getting married, another guy bought a new field and had to go check it out.  The master was not happy about the rudeness of his friends that were invited, so he told the servant to go invite the beggars, the crippled, lame and blind, and even to go into the country and urge anyone to come that would like to. The guest list for the party was thrown open wide for anyone that wanted to come (all found in Luke 14).

I was part of the second or third wave of invitations to be part of the feast, the Kingdom of God.  Coming from a pretty broken home, and being spiritually crippled myself, I received the invitation.  At first I made some excuses, like the first wave of guests.  But it dawned on me, that I was being invited for me.  I had no famous family to get me in.  We did not have money, in fact I am sure we lived below the poverty line.  I did not know anyone important, but the Master’s servant came to me and asked me to attend.  His name was Steve.  The servant of the Master was sent to invite those that were broken by sin, blind by pride, crippled by wounds, and paralyzed with fear.  And he came to me with the invitation. Thankful today for my brother Steve and that he was a faithful servant to go out and invite all, as he was instructed.   I am now part of the Kingdom of God. The banquet is a metaphor right now, as being included in the Kingdom of Jesus, but there will be a real banquet one day. I will be there too. Sitting among the faithful and Jesus will be at the head of the table. I will be his guest and he will be the honored host.  There I will sit with the remnant of God’s people, because of Jesus inviting everyone. A punk from a little southern Michigan town, a nobody by the standards of this world, but loved by God, invited by the servant, and persuaded by the Holy Spirit, the entrance paid for by the blood of Jesus, and I will dine in the presence of the One, the great I AM, and the faithful servant who invited me to the greatest banquet of the ages (Revelation 19).  Will I see you seated with us?    Once I was the invited, now I am the inviter, the servant, seeking and searching anyone that would come, just as the servant before me.   The hurt, broken, confused, the angry, the blind, the wounded, and yes, the sinful.   So glad for Jesus and the invitation of Life. Don’t make excuses, just agree to be part of the greatest gathering of all.  More invitation to get out today. I must go now.